fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller
La Biennale di Venezia

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Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller

1877 – 1968, USA

  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

Frequently cited as an important predecessor to the Harlem Renaissance, the sculptor Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller is most famous for her allegorical works that examine diasporic identity and engage with Pan-Africanist visual motifs, at a time when themes addressing the experience of the African American community were frequently suppressed in mainstream culture. She did this when Black women were too rarely given the opportunity to seek formal artistic training. During her time in Paris, she met political theorist and editor of The Crisis W.E.B. Du Bois, who would later provide her with major sculptural commissions, including for her famous 1921 work Ethiopia Awakening. Commissioned to make an allegorical piece about the nation of Ethiopia, Fuller produced the 35 cm polychrome plaster maquette presented in Venice as a study for a larger bronze sculpture, which was later included in the 1921 America’s Making Exposition. The sculpture, which portrays a lithe Black woman unwrapping herself from an ancient Egyptian funerary dress, her right hand holding up the end of the white fabric upon her chest, reflects an attitude also popularised in the early days of the Harlem Renaissance by Du Bois in the pages of The Crisis: an intense interest in an imagined “Africa” – especially Ancient Egypt and Ethiopia – as a new articulation of African American culture identity. 

Madeline Weisburg


Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller, maquette for Ethiopia Awakening, 1921. Painted plaster, 35.3 × 8.25 × 12.7 cm. Photo Will Howcroft. Danforth Art Museum at Framingham State University.
Gift of the Meta V. W. Fuller Trust. Courtesy the Meta V. W. Fuller Trust

Central Pavilion
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Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte